Our Charter Members
William R. Allen
a self-employed truck driver and hauling company operator
Arthur J. Kennedy, Jr.
the owner of a sheet metal fabricating company
Edward S. Livingston, Jr.
a federal postal worker
In 1955, the above St. Louis men, now deceased, were the Charter Members of the St. Louis Outboard Club, which became the St. Louis Gateway Boat Club before being Incorporated in 1965. By the end of 1956, the Club had attracted three more of the Black boat owners in St. Louis. One of the new members was George H. Carper, who had earlier returned to St. Louis to operate the family’s wholesale casket business. He had been a member of the renown Tuskegee Airmen. George, now a Member Emeritus, was recently interviewed. A few of the historical facts he shared: the boats owned by members in the early days were thirteen to fifteen footers with outboard motors, and were kept at home on trailers. He adds that their friends fondly referred to members as the "Trailer Sailors." Boats were put in the river at downtown St. Louis and most "beach" parties were on Mosenthein Island north of the launch site. By 1964 the Club had grown to nineteen members. Boats are now docked in area marinas at St. Louis and Lake Ozarks, MO.
Although currently owned vessels are much larger, there is still no Strivers Row exclusivity implied in the Club name; anyone who adheres to our Constitution and By-Laws is welcome to apply for membership. The five discrete purposes of the Club as delineated in its Constitution, simply stated: To promote safe boating, provide wholesome recreation for family and friends, encourage boating enthusiasm, and promote civic understanding and goodwill in the community. – Bill Allen